Soong Poh Loong (PL)
PL is an experienced human stem cell scientist and translational cardiac tissue engineer. As a member of the ISSCR, European Society for Cardiology and the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), PL’s research interest lies in human stem cell-based disease modelling, regeneration and repair of the diseased heart.
PL obtained his Dr. rer. nat. (Ph.D) from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Universität Medizin Göttingen, Germany under the German Research Foundation Scholarship (DFG) in Professor Wolfram H. Zimmermann’s research group. His thesis entitled “Development of a novel technology to engineer heart muscle for contractile and paracrine support in heart failure” was awarded summa cum laude and a global patent. As a former staff of ES Cell International, PL has intimate know-how and expertise in generating cGMP grade human stem cell lines, reprogramming and pharmaco-disease modelling, and helped establish the human stem cell (HSC) and cell banking capabilities in Göttingen. As a Jnr. Group Leader, he guided translational projects using Engineered Heart Muscles (EHMs) as a physiological model to study cardiac diseases and investigate the redox states of HSC derived CMs and non-myocytes in the tissues. During his tenures in Hamburg and Göttingen, he has developed vast personal networks with global KOLs in the cardiac regeneration field and collaborated in pre-clinical animal studies using EHMs to repair and regenerate infarcted rodent hearts. These studies have since translated from disease modelling to the First-in-Human trial of the BioVAT-HF (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04396899) as a therapeutic device for subjects suffering from terminal heart failure.
Outside of work, PL loves travelling, diving, playing the piano and cooking. He can often be found in the kitchen attempting new dishes that draws inspirations from his travels. Remarkably, some are palatable.
PL is also the co-founder of a Singapore biotech startup that develops high-speed, high throughput platforms for cellular characterization, disease modelling, drug safety screening and quality control.